Bringing IoT to the power distribution sector: New appointment has vision to reform the industry
3 November 2017
Power distribution specialist ide Systems has appointed Wayne Woodhead to the role of operations director. In one of his first public actions in the new role, Woodhead (pictured) — who has 31 years of experience in the product design, testing and engineering sectors — is calling on business leaders in the construction, events and offshore oil and gas sectors to make the shift to IoT-enabled smart monitoring of power distribution, a practice many have yet to adopt.
With a qualification in electronics engineering and an MBA, as well as previous experience as the CEO of a leading manufacturer of test and inspection systems in the oil and gas sector, Mr. Woodhead's role involves overseeing the product development of power overlay equipment with the latest advances in smart distribution technology.
"Although many businesses that use power distribution equipment want to improve energy efficiency and reduce their carbon emissions in line with Government targets, they simply don't know exactly what portion of their energy consumption is being wasted," said Woodhead.
"We know that, as of April 2017, there are approximately 5.7m smart meters installed in homes across the UK and 589,800 installed by businesses, according to the latest figures by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). We want to take this concept of smart monitoring and bring it to the power distribution market.
"By taking an IoT approach to power distribution, customers can use smart distribution to control individual power sockets and know the exact consumption at each point. They can also turn-off power provision to all sockets not being used at night."
The approach is also useful for diesel generators that are used in temporary overlay applications. Here, the customer can see the real-time phase balancing of the generator. Overloading any one of the three power phases can result in significant inefficiency and cause excessive neutral currents leading to mechanical damage and shortening the working life of the generator.
Using smart distribution equipment, the system can automatically measure the load and advise on re-configuration of the network. This approach to load monitoring is also crucial in ensuring a secure supply of electricity to mission-critical applications such as events, where load monitoring can be used to forecast maintenance and re-configuration rather than wait for circuit breakers to trip.
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